A National Security Agency data gathering facility is seen in Bluffdale, south of Salt Lake City

Senate lets NSA spy program lapse, at least for now

A National Security Agency data gathering facility is seen in Bluffdale, south of Salt Lake CityBy Patricia Zengerle and Warren Strobel WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The legal authority for U.S. spy agencies’ collection of Americans’ phone records and other data expired at midnight on Sunday after the Senate failed to pass legislation extending their powers. After debate pitting Americans’ distrust of intrusive government against fears of terrorist attacks, the Senate voted to advance reform legislation that would replace the bulk phone records program revealed two years ago by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Although the Senate did not act in time to keep the program from expiring, the vote was at least a partial victory for Democratic President Barack Obama, who had pushed for the reform measure as a compromise addressing privacy concerns while preserving a tool to help protect the country from attack.

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